LG G4 High ISO Performance Initial Impressions

May 4, 2015

This is the second part of the LG G4 camera in-depth analysis. In this article we’ll inspect and share my initial impressions with the  the LG G4 rear camera high ISO performance (low-light performance) based on the official sample images. On paper, the LG G4 is looking great, featuring a new larger sensor than the LG G3, it has an improved optical image stabilization, laser-assist AF and faster f/1.8 aperture lens. This should make the LG G4 an amazing camera for low-light photography

I’ve taken a look at all the official sample images that LG provided. All the sample images can be download from this link on mega.co.nz. I was more interested to first inspect the highest ISO image.

LG G4 crop sample image

100% scale crop from the original image

The image is obviously quite noisy at this ISO sensitivity and noise is apparent all over the image. From what I’ve understand, those images were captured in Raw and edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and we can see that by reading the EXIF data. This means that if they were shot in JPEG from the beginning, the result might be different. However, I was expecting to see even better results. This might suggest that no noise reduction has been applied to the image, It looks super sharp, aside from the noise. So maybe it’s to early to judge the image quality based on what we have so far.

I had tested my iPhone 5S at various ISO sensitivities and found it performs amazingly well up to ISO 1600. Take a look..

iPhone 5S high ISO noise test

iPhone 5S high ISO noise test - high resolution / 100% scale crops

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have improved upon that. The good news was that there were almost no chroma noise in the image. The large pixels on the iPhone 5S certainly helped maintaining minimum amount of noise.

The LG G4 ISO 800 sample image is much more noisier.I looked at the EXIF, and it was shot at 1/4000 sec. shutter speed. What lead me to an understanding that it was shot in bright daylight but intentionally captured in ISO 800.  I went to check the other images, and all of them I’ve notice relatively significant amount of noice even at ISO 50 (the image of the mountain). You can see the noise in the sky area, where it’s very noticeable when viewing the image in 100%  scale, but in the other areas it’s less visible. The long exposure image (ISO 50, 4.0 sec shutter speed) looked better in the sky area, but it was taken at ISO 50, not ISO 100.

Even my favorite noise reduction software, NeatImage, had problem reducing all the noise. I was able to do it well in the shadows, but failed in other mid-tones and bright areas. The main problem was that there were a lot of detailed objects in the scene. in other photos it worked better.

So my initial impressions are not that great, at least from what I’ve seen so far. It would be smart to wait for more high ISO samples to appear before we judge the image quality and compared it to the iPhone 6 Plus, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S6 Edge and other cameras.

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